The Department of Health on Monday, August 16, 2021, advised against the "false security" of wearable or necklace air purifiers, as it offers no protection against COVID-19.
When asked about the purifiers, DOH Usec. Rosario Vergeire said "The DOH [does] not recommend these air purifiers, eto pong mga necklace na purifier...Wala 'yang ebidensya."
Vergeire issued the statement after Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia issued a memorandum requiring drivers and conductors of public utility vehicles in the province to wear purifiers, a move that a Cebu transport group called a "band-aid solution."
While the purifier causes no harm, it fails to offer any protection against COVID-19, Vergeire said.
"It will give that false security to our kababayans, baka magkaroon ng complacency because of this," she added.
Vergeire cited the Philippine COVID Clinical Practice Guidelines, which recommend against the use of ionizing air purifiers to reduce COVID transmission in the community. The DOH also implements the same receommendation.
"Sinasabi na po ng ebidensya at ng mga eksperto na it's not going to provide you with that protection. Sana po hindi na lang natin ito gamitin," she added.
What the DOH recommends is the use of HEPA filters when indoors or where there is inadequate ventilation. HEPA filters are High Efficiency Particulate Air Filters that can capture up to 99 percent of all contaminants.
HEPA filters are common in hospital settings — where viruses and other contaminants shouldn’t be freely circulating in the air — but not so in business or in homes.